Libz To Govt: Don’t Even Think of Bailing Out Otago Rugby

01 March 2012 12:34:03

Libz To Govt: Don’t Even Think of Bailing Out Otago Rugby

Libertarianz Party leader Richard McGrath said the government should resist any temptation to bail out the Otago Rugby Football Union.

“Sport, recreation, hobbies and pastimes are facets of people’s private lives, and should be of no concern to the government,” he said today.

“That taxpayers were forced to finance the Rugby World Cup last year was a shameless betrayal of the National Party’s alleged free market principles,” he added.

“To throw more money at an organisation that failed to live within its means would amount to rewarding profligacy, and punishing the thrift of those who would be forced to pay for such an intervention.”

“While I feel very sad that the Otago Union – whose representative team I watched doing battle at Carisbrook on many occasions during my years as a student in Dunedin – looks set to be liquidated, the appropriate rescue package should come from a ‘white knight’: a privateer who can turn the fortunes of this once-mighty union around.”

“The Key government has an opportunity here to draw a line in the sand, and declare a moratorium on taxpayer bailouts for failing private institutions. If they are worth rescuing, interested parties will band together and do it without being forced to, as taxpayers are whenever a politician interferes in the workings of the market. The government should get out of the way.”

Dr McGrath said the Libertarianz Party would cut all state funding of sport and recreation, and allow various sporting bodies to prosper or sink by merit, “not by lobbying politicians for a handout consisting of other people’s hard-earned money.”

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